Talk:Libertarianism/Archive 22

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Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moot point. This request has been superseded by another one, and this thread has already been archived. I'm closing this discussion to get it off the list of backlogged requests at WP:RM. Peace. - GTBacchus(talk) 08:43, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

LibertarianismLibertarianism (word) — [NOW REQUESTING SOMEONE TO REVIEW CONSENSUS AND CLOSE THIS REQUEST FOR US Request by User:BigK HeX] The subject of this article, an overview/summary of all meanings associated with the word libertarianism, is not the primary topic for the term. There is no consensus about what is the primary topic, so the dab page should be at the term itself, per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC: "If there is no primary topic, the term should be the title of a disambiguation page". Born2cycle (talk) 20:39, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Support - This makes reasonable since; you can't write about 'X' without knowing what 'X' is. Toa Nidhiki05 20:42, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Zillionth time? This is the first time I've ever seen an official move request for this article. This is not about what this page should discuss, as the content of an article does not change when it is moved. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:55, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Let's not waste time with semantic games. THIS page is the Libertarianism page. "Forms of Whatever" is a different page. BigK HeX (talk) 21:00, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
It's not semantics. There should be no confusion between an article's content (which was the issue discussed in the short-lived RFC) and its title (which is the issue here). --Born2cycle (talk) 21:05, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
"an article's content" ... Specifically, the RfC was about the Libertarianism article's content (i.e. the page with this title). BigK HeX (talk)
Article moves have almost nothing to do with article content. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:44, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I have no idea how that statement is relevant. The contents of THIS article were largely deemed to be appropriate for THIS page (i.e., Libertarianism). Even more, per Skomorokh below, the premise for this request to move is nonsensical. BigK HeX (talk) 00:14, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
The RfC did not deal at all with the question of whether the current title of the article was appropriate for the content of this article, or whether there might be a better title for it. It dealt exclusively with article content. This move request is addressing only the issue of title. It's like confusing going to court to get your name changed with going to a shrink to get yourself changed. Night and day. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:35, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support If we could come up with another way to fix this confusing mess of an article (actually, trio of articles), I'd be willing to change my stance, but I see no progress towards that. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:54, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose as the rationale is farcical. If the article is about the word, I suppose the major sections deal with a history of the word that is distinct from its etymology, the principles of the word, forms of the word, and organizations of the word? Ridiculous. It is blindingly obvious that the subject of this article is the American-style offshoot of classical liberalism. The different forms mentioned are all variations or derivations of that philosophy, not competitors for the title. Appeals to primary topic are noted, but there is no satisfactory disambiguation for this philosophy suggested, leaving this proposal dead in the water like its predecessors. Skomorokh 20:55, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - Prefer Forms of libertarianism as new location for this article. It's illogical that the title of this article is "libertarianism" but then it discusses left-libertarianism and libertarian socialism and anarcho-capitalism. If we can't get the topic to reflect the title then we'll have to get the title to reflect the topic. The article here at libertarianism can have one section called "Forms of libertarianism" that gives a short overview on the distantly related "forms" and it would include a link to the main article at Forms of libertarianism. --Xerographica (talk) 22:44, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - no reason given for move based on policy or reasonable argument. TFD (talk) 23:04, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Huh? Does not meet WP:PRIMARYTOPIC criteria is probably one of the most common policy reasons given to justify page moves at WP:RM. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:28, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
The primary topic is libertarianism as defined in reliable sources. TFD (talk) 00:01, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Which is what, exactly? The problem of course is that libertarianism is not defined in any one way in reliable sources. There are multiple topics that are referred to by that term, and none of them are primary (at least there is no consensus about any one of them being primary).

The burden those who oppose this move have to meet is to show that the subject of the article currently at Libertarianism is the primary topic for the term libertarianism. You can't show that, because the article is not about any one subject - it's about all the meanings associated with the word. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:35, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

There may be disagreements about use of terminology in reliable sources just as there are with other political topics. E.g., liberal may mean laissez-faire or interventionist, or both. There is one article because there is a shared history and a common core set of beliefs. Topics are defined by essential not accidental attributes. TFD (talk) 01:33, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • support the article is confusing readers with pro-property and anti-property being the same philosophy. Darkstar1st (talk) 23:34, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
The article isn't "confusing", just because it doesn't push your preferred POV where Libertaranism is only about right-lib theories of property. BigK HeX (talk) 00:11, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Libertarianism → Libertarianism (word): [Added later: I have requested someone familiar with Wikipedia:Requested_moves move this to "Contested request" (not clear how to do that since text not there). Note that while this is not technically a POV-Fork, it's definitely in that spirit, as I wrote previously]: Wikipedia:POV_FORK#POV_forks under "Unacceptable types of forking" reads: In contrast, POV forks generally arise when contributors disagree about the content of an article or other page. Instead of resolving that disagreement by consensus, another version of the article (or another article on the same subject) is created to be developed according to a particular point of view. This second article is known as a "POV fork" of the first, and is inconsistent with Wikipedia policies. The generally accepted policy is that all facts and major points of view on a certain subject should be treated in one article. As Wikipedia does not view article forking as an acceptable solution to disagreements between contributors, such forks may be merged, or nominated for deletion. It is clear this requested move is a result of some editors not getting their way, including in this RfC on the topic. Libertarianism (disambiguation) should be a separate discussion since there are pros and cons. [Added later: As for WP:primary topic, that is a subsection of Wikipedia:Disambiguation so I don't see how it can effect the discussion of this article; just that of the Disambiguation page, and that conversation should happen there.] CarolMooreDC (talk) 00:19, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Fork??? No new articles are being suggested here. Just a simple article rename to put the dab page at the term in question since there is no primary topic for that term. Very normal/standard stuff in WP:RM land. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:35, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose move to libertarianism (word). Bad disambiguator for a start, but the case against this article being the primary topic is also so chronically weak that in the context of the previous discussions it does look like an attempted POV fork. Andrewa (talk) 00:36, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose; it's not about the word in a linguistic sense, but about the philosophy/ies under that name. The name is fine as is. *Dan T.* (talk) 00:48, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
You did not address the issue of the topic of the article currently at Libertarianism not being the primary topic for that term. Also, the alternative destination suggestion Forms of libertarianism meets the "about the philosophy/ies under that name" description. --Born2cycle (talk) 01:15, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- per the the recent RFC. The primary topic for this subject is clearly the family of political philosophies which go under the heading of "libertarianism", and have in common the promotion of civil liberties and limited or non-existent state intervention. Both right- and left- libertarianism are proper subsets of this topic, and this should be what the article is about. What should then be determined is how much weight to give each of them. But this has all been discussed in the RFC that preceding this one by a few days, and consensus was reached that the broader definition is the primary topic and should be covered here. This has already been debated ad naseum, and I'd really like to see the vocal minority that is still pushing against the consensus on the topic, to stop wasting everyone's time, and start working on improving the article instead. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 03:01, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
"The primary topic for this subject is clearly the family of political philosophies "... That indeed is the implied position of anyone opposing this move, but this argument implies that the subject being sought when a reader enters [libertarianism] in the Search box is much more likely than any other to be "the family of political philosophies which go under the heading of 'libertarianism'". Seriously? That's clearly true? Not for me. That's the whole point of this proposed move. But I'll gladly change my position to oppose this move as well if evidence of this being true is presented by someone (guidance for how to determine primary topic is provided at WP:PRIMARYTOPIC). --Born2cycle (talk) 14:13, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose: As I said a month back, libertarianism (word) branches into libertarianism (metaphysics) and libertarianism (political theory). This article is the latter. N6n (talk) 14:01, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I think "(word)" is a terrible disambiguator. This article isn't about a word, it's about a family of related political philosophies. We don't have an article called "liberalism (word)". Also if this article were about the word we would have to add a section on metaphysical libertarianism, which is a totally unrelated concept. This requested move only makes sense if one accepts the implicit assertion that the different philosophies covered on this page are unrelated and have nothing in common but the word libertarianism. That assertion has been rejected in two votes already – so this is now the third vote we've had in two weeks on basically the same question. I don't think repeatedly voting on the same thing is constructive Iota (talk) 14:20, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, it's a good suggestion to add a summary section on metaphysical libertarianism to this article since the article is already a potpourri of uses of the term libertarianism. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:24, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
RE: "potpourri"

To quote User:Iota, "That assertion has been rejected in two votes already...." BigK HeX (talk) 19:38, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose: I believe the optimal solution to this never-ending chaos would be to expand the article libertarianism in the United States as an alternative. It could become what some people would prefer this article to be. Also agree that "(word)" is a terrible disambiguator. –CWenger (talk) 03:10, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose no valid reason given. Article is not about a linguistic topic. Rather, article needs better organization and an inclusive summary. Yworo (talk) 03:17, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This would seriously injure navigation for our actual readers, and it wouldn't really stop the edit war, even if that were a reason for a page move. Gavia immer (talk) 02:47, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. First, there is no sense having an article about the word rather than about the thing. Second, the problem here is not one of disambiguation of words, but of WP:IDHT - a small number of editors really do believe that their own take on libertarianism is the only libertarianism worth reading about, and persist in pushing this belief despite the resistance of the rest of the editing community. The above proposed change would not fix this at all. --FOo (talk) 15:27, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I am not aware of whatever edit war or other problems may afflict this article, nor do I care to be. What I do know is that the article as it stands now is most definitely not about the word "libertarianism", nor should we have an article that is primarily about the word "libertarianism". The topic is correct and clearly the primary topic for this title. Powers T 00:20, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. At best this is a good faith attempt to solve editorial consensus and WP:IDHT problems by using incorrect technique. Fifelfoo (talk) 15:36, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support The term means too many different things. In Europe, libertarianism refers to anarchism. And how about sources that say the term specifically refers to capitalist philosophy? I have an idea: We could keep this article as it is, but rename it to something like "libertarianism (broad meaning)", but still refer everyone to the disambiguation page and it will be in that list. Rapidosity (talk) 16:52, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose No valid reasons presented for move. TFD (talk) 18:19, 15 September 2010 (UTC)


"... dead in the water like its predecessors". What predecessors? There have been other requested moves for this article? --Born2cycle (talk) 20:59, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Like EVERY OTHER attempt to significantly alter the concepts to be discussed at Libertarianism. BigK HeX (talk) 21:03, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Whatever the current plan is, it obviously isn't working. North8000 (talk) 21:29, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Seems vastly superior to other recently proposed efforts, which seem to be focused on having the Libertarianism article push a POV. BigK HeX (talk) 21:50, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Don't know which efforts you are talking about, but the core of the current contentions is essentially that the article massievly violates wp:NPOV by having such over-representation and lack of context for the 1% versions to the extent that it completely occludes the 99% one. And I don't see any substantive work or discussion to address that. North8000 (talk) 11:50, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
When you provide for us some actual evidence for this "1%" theory that you keep repeating (instead of asking us to do your research for you/or for you to offer wild speculation on viewpoints that you admit to knowing little about), then you may find getting the potential issue addressed to be a lot easier. BigK HeX (talk) 13:17, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
It's just an educated guess, but I'll bet that most would agree that it's close, and from what's in the artclles so far the 1% might be closer to 0%. But I think that your statement has it in reverse. For inclusion there needs to be a reasonably amount of RS COVERAGE. From what I see, the sources are just the actual writings where people invented it in their minds. Those fail twice over, first for being primary, and second a writing that invents it is inventing it, not covering it. North8000 (talk) 13:38, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Seeing as you've been asking us about the matter, the suggestion that these authors "invented the term" has been nothing but wild speculation on your part, correct? BigK HeX (talk) 13:47, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Again, you are trying to maneuver the conversation to be the reverse of how Wikipedia works. The article(s) do not even claim much less support that people actually practice this, identified as such. The way that WP works is that inclusion requires establishing it, not the opposite of having to prove a negative in order to not include it. North8000 (talk) 14:59, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
See that "search archives" box up at the top? Try sticking "move" or "rename" in there to get an idea of the volumnious prior discussion in this vein. Sincerely, Skomorokh 22:25, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I have recommended editors read Wikipedia:POV_FORK#POV_forks several times over last month, but people just refuse to acquaint themselves with policy. Please do so. CarolMooreDC (talk) 00:25, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
It's very perplexing to recommend reading policy about new article creation via forking in the context of a discussion about moving an existing article which has nothing to do with creating new articles, much less forking. I don't know what you see in there that might be appropriate, but I suggest you spell it out so other can help you find the source of your confusion. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:39, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I have requested someone familiar with Wikipedia:Requested_moves move this to "Contested request" (not clear how to do that since text not there). You clearly did not read that very carefully. Note that while this is not technically a POV-Fork, it's definitely in that (negative) spirit, so I just left it there with that explanation. CarolMooreDC (talk) 01:45, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok, the box under "Current Discussions" on Wikipedia:Requested_moves says: "To make a change to an entry, make the change on the linked talk page." Who can figure out how to do that so it will end up under "Contested request"? Perhaps User talk:Born2cycle? CarolMooreDC (talk) 02:01, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I think all page-moves listed there are presumed to be "potentially contested." Non-controversial moves are just done by any editor. BigK HeX (talk) 02:07, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
No, Carol, it is you who did not read carefully (WP:RM as well as the stuff on POV forking, and probably the argument presented for this move too). This request is listed under "contested requests" at WP:RM and has been from the moment it was posted there by the RM bot. Pages move are not forks, much less POV forks. No evidence has been presented that the subject of this article is the primary topic for "libertarianism". --Born2cycle (talk) 14:21, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia:Requested_moves says If you object to a proposal listed in Current requests, please relist it in the Contested requests section below. I would if I could figure out how to from the template at top of this section.
  • Despite being frustrated at every turn (including in this request for move 9 to 5) the Deletionists keep coming up with new strategies to gut the article in what is very disruptive editing. Some of us would rather work on improving the article instead of dealing with these Refusal to get the point moves.
  • As for WP:primary topic, that is a subsection of Wikipedia:Disambiguation so I don't see how it can effect the discussion of this article; just that of the Disambiguation page, and that conversation should happen there. CarolMooreDC (talk) 17:15, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Carol, I have a lot of patience, but I must say, this is getting ridiculous.
  • What part of "This request is listed under "contested requests" at WP:RM and has been from the moment it was posted there by the RM bot" do you not understand? Current requests, which is under Wikipedia:Rm#Uncontroversial_requests, currently has only one entry in it, and, again, this request to move Libertarianism has never been listed there. It has always been in the next section, under Wikipedia:Rm#Current_discussions which is under Wikipedia:Rm#Contested_requests.

    You're apparently not very familiar with WP:RM and how it works, and perhaps have only skimmed that page which I hope explains your misunderstanding. If so, I suggest you take a few minutes to carefully read WP:RM (as well as WP:D, particularly WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and WP:TITLE, which are polices often cited as basis for move requests at WP:RM).

  • All move requests, including this one, have nothing to do with deleting content, gutting articles, or disruptive editing. This is merely a standard request to move a dab page for a given term to the actual term, due to a lack of consensus about WP:PRIMARYTOPIC for the term at issue. The motivations of those who support or oppose this move are not relevant here, nor is anything that you or anyone else is frustrated about. All that is relevant here is the soundness of the arguments provided for showing that the subject of the article currently at Libertarianism is the primary topic for libertarianism (no such argument has been made).
  • The whole point of this request is to move the disambiguation page -- Libertarianism (disambiguation) -- here to Libertarianism, because there is no consensus about there being a primary topic for the term libertarianism (which of course means first moving the article currently at Libertarianism somewhere else, and the two candidates suggested so far are Libertarianism (word) and Forms of libertarianism. For any move A → B, the discussion can be posted at either talk page, as long as there is a pointer to the discussion from one to the other, which there is in this case. I chose to put the discussion here because there is much more "action" here. If you really don't understand the relevance of WP:DISAMBIGUATION and WP:PRIMARYTOPIC to this discussion, that explains much. Hopefully you do now. If you still don't, please read and reread this post, including reading the links I've taken the time to provide, to make sure you understand what this is about, because I just don't know how else to explain it to you. Thanks. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:07, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • What you say here you support (the former) is exactly what you opposed above, precisely because it is a compromise (not to mention the fact that the move is sound since there is no primary topic for libertarianism). The latter is not being proposed. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:47, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Jrtayloriv: Out of curiousity, what's your first choice? BigK HeX (talk) 18:48, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh please. As you know, there are basically two camps. Those whose first choice is to leave the article about the broad meaning of libertarianism at Libertarianism, and those whose first choice is to have the article at Libertarianism be about so-called right-libertarianism, or at least that it not include left-libertarianism and social libertarianism.

The compromise, for both sides, which has been proposed, is to put the dab page at Libertarianism. Not surprisingly, those who prefer the status quo to the compromise are going to oppose the compromise, and if the RM closing admin just goes with the apparent majority, there is no end in sight to the 6+ year long debate, thanks to the lack of willingness to compromise by that camp. --Born2cycle (talk) 19:26, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

To deviate from policy, standard practice, and clear community advisement, the editors in the vocal minority will have to propose some far more persuasive reasoning than, "We'll just keep complaining!"
So, your first step would be to find an agreeable REASON to compromise, first. The notion that the article discusses unrelated philosophies only sharing the word "libertarianism" has been rejected. BigK HeX (talk) 19:36, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
The only camp deviating from policy is yours since you fail to even address the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC argument, much less provide an argument and evidence that the subject of the article at Libertarianism (a very broad sense of libertarianism which encompasses all political-philosophical meanings of libertarianism) is the primary topic for the term libertarianism. --Born2cycle (talk) 19:44, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
The assertion that we haven't addressed the primary topic objection is ridiculous. It has been discussed AND REJECTED multiple times already, most notably in the RfC. To quote directly from the closure statement of the RfC:

Are the various conceptions of libertarianism currently expressed on the page aspects of the same thing;...[or] Is 'right-libertarianism' so different from 'left-libertarianism' and other concepts (e.g. 'geo-libertarianism'), that they are essentially different ideas that should be disambiguated to different pages. That is, the terms represent ideas as different as goldfish (fish) and Goldfish crackers, Queen and Queen (band), and inflation (a rise in prices) and inflation (the early expansion of the universe). In that case, as laid out by the disambiguation guideline, right-libertarianism as the primary topic, should occupy the page.

Wikipedia answers such questions using reliable sources, and in this case, editors who hold the 'libertarianism should be construed broadly' viewpoint have offered multiple reliable sources that attest to the first interpretation. Reliable sources treat, on the same page, multiple variants of libertarianism – treating them as aspects of the same idea. (Unlike, for instance, goldfish and goldfish crackers, which no reliable source treats as aspects of the same thing.)

BigK HeX (talk) 19:47, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I did not take part in that prematurely-closed RfC, and, if I had, I would have pointed out that the undisputed existence of sources that interpret libertarianism broadly is evidence of existence of that usage, not evidence of that usage being the primary topic for libertarianism. How to show whether a given interpretation is the primary topic for a given term is explained at WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. That guidance has not been followed here. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:05, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
That guidance has been applied. Your arguments have been rejected. That you can't accept the conclusion reached is no reflection on the fact that it has been discussed (and rejected). BigK HeX (talk) 21:50, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
This is the guidance I'm talking about:
Since you claim this guidance has been followed, you should have no problem pointed me to where that was. By the way, finding some sources that uses the broad meaning is not an example of using this guidance to determine whether that meaning is primary among sources. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:18, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Sure. Check basically any thread on the talk page. The topic that people desire when they click the "Go" button is the political ideology, And That Is What We Have. BigK HeX (talk) 06:00, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── USer:Born2cycle writes: Wikipedia:Rm#Current_discussions which is under Wikipedia:Rm#Contested_requests. But Wikipedia:Rm#Current_discussions is NOT a subsection of Wikipedia:Rm#Contested_requests because both have two equal signs meaning they are equal categories. It's obviously a confusing formatting problem with the page. CarolMooreDC (talk) 22:36, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Given up on mediation??

Better late than never, it occurs to me that when you are in the middle of an informal mediation you aren't supposed to go initiating these types of requests. Does this mean that all those who signed that they supported this change have given up on it?? CarolMooreDC (talk) 18:35, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

The mediator has not been saying much. The move request is a proposed compromise that is hoped to obviate the need for any more mediation. Opposition to it, especially based on so much misunderstanding, is disappointing. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:50, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I hope that no one's given up, but, of course, no mediator is going to be available around the clock for our squabbling. I think everyone's still on-board, though we may need more guidance on how best to conduct a mediated discussion. BigK HeX (talk) 20:57, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I politely contacted the Mediators' talk page to ask if informal mediation resources would still be available. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:28, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Delete disambiguation page entirely

The proposal to turn the libertarianism article into a disambiguation page is extremely POV and flawed. However, there is merit in getting rid of the Libertarianism (disambiguation) page which seems to go through cycles of growing and diminishing in size, depending on various people. I've usually just asserted it should be minimally inclusive or very inclusive, having a problem with POV inclusion/exclusion. I'm pretty tired of the cycle and have come to believe that this page is not particularly necessary. There should just be the libertarianism article with a note directing people to Libertarianism (metaphysics) on top. And then we can just mention every thing that WP:RS says calls itself libertarianism in the article, in proportion to its relevance. (With a few things not relevant to existing sections only listed under "See also.") So what we need is a deletion proposal on the disambiguation page, once this one is sufficiently buried. CarolMooreDC (talk) 23:05, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

An article of interest

Roderick T. Long "Towards a Libertarian Theory of Class" Social Philosophy and Policy 1998: 303ff. free here at 304-310 has an excellent discussion of a working definition of libertarianism. In fact Long so succinctly cuts across the issue of economic power, and the issue of small states versus no states, while presenting the debate as it exists, that I propose this article ought to be the basis of further definitional discussions. And it is free and peer reviewed. With some footnotes towards 19th Century syncretic / undivided movements in favour of liberty. Fifelfoo (talk) 00:03, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Long also makes some really useful points about the various different camps of libertarianism (left, right, and populist -- or in his terminology, LibSoc, LibCap, and LibPop). I've previously suggested that we rely on his definition of libertarianism (roughly, any political position that proposes to transfer power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals) because it aptly sums up that which all libertarians (minarchists, anarcho-capitalists, left-libertarians, mutualists, survivalists, Ron Paul Republicans, etc.) have in common.
As Long is both a scholarly and peer-reviewed source, and one who makes a strong effort to be neutral, I agree that his work is a good basis for definitions. --FOo (talk) 19:41, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
It's good to start with broadest Merriam Webster definition and then proceed to widely used ones and less widely used ones. Either in a bigger lead or elsewhere. CarolMooreDC (talk) 21:44, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
How about the OED? "Laissez-faire political philosophy advocating only minimal state intervention in the lives of citizens." Rapidosity (talk) 00:19, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
How about you paste the full OED definition when you're going to make an argument from authority? Fifelfoo (talk) 00:33, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I'd recommend against using dictionaries as sources. Dictionaries are about the usage and history of words, whereas we are interested here in describing a phenomenon. The fact that some users may disagree on the usage of the words does not bear strongly on the facts about the phenomenon. For example: Ayn Rand abhorred the word "libertarian" and would not countenance Objectivism being described as libertarian. But few would deny Objectivism's influence on Rothbard and on the libertarian movement, continuing even today.
The existence of an article Libertarianism is premised on the existence of a phenomenon (specifically, a political movement) that is known as "libertarianism". What this phenomenon is, what its boundaries and its properties are, is not a matter for lexicographers (dictionary-makers) to decide. It is a matter for scholars and reputed writers in the field of politics to decide, and for us (as encyclopedists) to report upon. --FOo (talk) 01:46, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Quite often Wikipedia articles fail to communicate the main meaning / definition of a term. These tend to be ones (such as this article) where the offbeat stuff drowns out / occludes the mainstream stuff. In those cases a single sentence in a dictionary c an be more informative than 2,000 words of article because it can and does select the mainstream definition(s).North8000 (talk) 17:50, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Here is a link to a section about the origins of modern libertarian in the United States (pp. 123ff.) It says they were led by Murray Rothbard, called themselves "anarcho-libertarians", waved anarchist flags, called themselves "left-wing" and formed the Society for Individual Liberty with left-libertarians (the same name used by a faction of the UK Liberal Party). Members of the Young Americans for Freedom chanted "Kill the Commies!" "Kill the libertarians!" The Cato Institute also later tried to connect with the Left. The left-wing influence on right-libertarianism is clear. TFD (talk) 00:38, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

And there is also a line of descent, as it were, from Rothbard and Karl Hess to Samuel Konkin, Kevin Carson, and the other left-libertarian writers. Rothbard's own views were hardly the Jeffersonian minarchist-patriot fluff that I recall from my Libertarian Party days. --FOo (talk) 01:46, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I have modified the article to reflect this discussion and the RS, replacing a first line Dictionary Definition from a US Dictionary, with a peer reviewed High Quality Reliable Source. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:36, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if that's the most prudent move. BigK HeX (talk) 03:24, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
It is an open clear summary definition in a HQRS, it summarises the core issue of the topic, it is superior to a dicdef. I don't see a sourcing or UNDUE problem. Also, it is one of the few articles I've noted actually dealing with the entire literature rather than a specific sub-segment of immediate interest to the author. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:29, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

The Roderick Long definition is an anarchist definition. It doesn't apply to other libertarians who do not support a completely voluntary society, i.e. those who support existence of the state. Rapidosity (talk) 06:55, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

It isn't an anarchist definition, "that advocates a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals," does not include the obliteration of the state. Given the divestment of economic centralisation required for minarchist versions of capitalist libertarianism, how else would you characterise the desynchronisation of the military industrial complex, the tariff system, or copyright extension other than, "a radical redistribution of power" away from the coercive state towards voluntary associations?
Also, please don't revert content unconnected to your complaint about the definition suggested by Long. I proposed Long precisely because it covers the radical suggestion of change in power relationship between state and people present in minarchism, the USLP, libertarian socialism, capitalist anarchists, Labour Party libertarians in the 1930s, etc, etc, etc. It covers the whole field without claiming an elimination of the state, nor the continuance of the state, the elimination of capitalism, nor the continuance of capitalism. Long gets at the crux: the relative levels of power of the state and the people, regardless of the existence of the state. Fifelfoo (talk) 09:10, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
How is this an anarchist definition? TFD (talk) 09:14, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
It may or may not be, depending on if you go all the way to eliminating govt. courts, police. But the more important thing is it does not belong as first sentence or even second or third. I don't have a problem with a few well known or important definitions. But though I like Long's material myself (he did a great article on libertarian feminism), I don't think he's one of the top 3-4 people for defining libertarianism. If people want to go with alternate definitions in lead, we should start with say Rothbard and Boaz, after the Merriam-Webster definition. And any well known lefty who has a coherent and relevant definition. (I know I've seen one up there before.) CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:23, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
My mind springs to Goldman honestly, but she's a confused and rambling writer even if she has some brilliant moments of prose. Malatesta perhaps? But I'm very aware that these are examples of anti-state leftist libertarians, and would prefer a more generalist account which can handle the general bent of libertarianism of leftists. Le Guin is too slippery, being fond of the contradictions in all things, and often avoids saying things directly in her literature. I find Chomsky a painful bourgeois, without any of the shame that makes Orwell more interesting. Could probably hunt through the marxist libertarians (Cardan, etc.) to find a less anarchist left lib definition. In any of these cases they'd need to be clearly prefaced, "A definition of libertarianism from the left perspective which indicates the different interests of this tendency is given by..." Attempts to establish the topic as a whole within the encyclopedia should be non-tendential without being explicit attempts at artificial synthesis by that particular academic commentator. Fifelfoo (talk) 13:43, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
In Fifelfoo's (Long's) definition, "redistribution" itches me. It suggests that libertarianism will no longer exist when such a redistribution has been achieved.
However, it looks good as the first sentence. The Merriam-Webster definition says very little. If Long claims to have reviewed the field, and if the definition seems sensible (as it does to me), I think it deserves a prominent position, even though Long may be relatively obscure. "Voluntary", "free individuals/associations" and "State" are critical terms.
Under discussion: *Libertarianism is the advocacy of the maximization of freedom of thought and action.(MW), *Libertarianism is "any political position that advocates a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals."(Long) N6n (talk) 14:51, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
It is an anarchist definition because if there is a state, it isn't a voluntary society. When Long says he supports a voluntary society, he's talking about a stateless one, an anarchist one. Rapidosity (talk) 22:19, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
"State" and "government" have been differentiated, although I don't know if Long does it:
It will be clear to anyone who takes the trouble to think the matter through, that under a regime of natural order, that is to say under government, which makes no positive interventions whatever on the individual, but only negative interventions in behalf of simple justice – not law, but justice – misuses of social power would be effectively corrected; whereas we know by interminable experience that the State’s positive interventions do not correct them. Under a regime of actual individualism, actually free competition, actual laissez-faire – a regime which, as we have seen, can not possibly coexist with the State – a serious or continuous misuse of social power would be virtually impracticable. ~ Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, The State. N6n (talk) 02:45, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
The state is just one of several forms of governance/government and some of those can be voluntarily created and adhered to, whereas the state always has some minimal level of force in its area of monopolization. CarolMooreDC (talk) 03:20, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
No. We are not using an anarchist definition to define Libertarianism. Anarchism is not a major form of Libertarianism. 'Radical redistribution of power'? Wow, I bet Ron Paul and Glenn Beck would have something to say about that... Toa Nidhiki05 12:55, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Err... what is it that they would have to say? There's almost a 100% chance they would agree with the idea. BigK HeX (talk) 13:19, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Add the 'voluntary associations of individuals' (collective-minded; anarcho-socialist), then yes, they would disagree with it. And neither say they want 'Radical' change, either. Toa Nidhiki05 13:45, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that ~100% chance already meant having the "voluntary associations of individuals" part added-in. If you seriously trying to say that Ron Paul doesn't desire radical change, then you don't seem to know his political stance very well. Moreover, your apparent understanding of "voluntary associations of individuals" seems pretty badly flawed. BigK HeX (talk) 13:51, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
What is a 'voluntary association of individuals', then? To me, it seems you are wanting to change the header to reflect your Left-Libertarian views, not like the vast majority of Libertarians, which want power transferred to the individual, not 'associations of individuals'. 'Associations of individuals' is the collective, and Left-Libertarians like yourself want the government to dissolve and transfer powers to the collective, which you are attempting to sugarcoat as 'Associations of individuals' so you can reflect your views on the page, and quite honestly, I'm sickened by how you try to force your views onto the page. Toa Nidhiki05 13:58, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
How amusing. I'm not sure that there's even one presumption in your most recent comment that is accurate. Ah well ... no point in continuing this discussion as if both of us here are acting in good faith, when it's clear that's not the case. Cheers! BigK HeX (talk) 14:03, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
What is a contract in civil law if not a "voluntary association of individuals"? Fifelfoo (talk) 14:09, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
It is defined within the framework of the government. Once entered into, it is involuntary; either party can have the government enforce it. North8000 (talk) 14:24, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Just to solidify the point before I disengage from User:Toa Nidhiki05 here, I'll just post a blurb about Ron Paul's COMMIE-NESS, "The Ron Paul FREEDOM PRINCIPLES: All voluntary associations should be permissible -- economic and social." Does Ron Paul love the communisms with his support for voluntary social associations???! BigK HeX (talk) 14:16, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Does he want to turn all power over to them, or to the individual? Toa Nidhiki05 14:22, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
This is such a cool conversation between you experts. Why don't you have some fun & keep it that way without getting nasty. And with the objective of sorting it out to have a good accurate article, leave everything else at the door. North8000 (talk) 14:29, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
North8000, your definition of voluntary is not useful (and is not standard). Paying the taxi-fare after you have taken a ride is not an "involuntary" action. Did you choose without compulsion from human actors--if you did, then all the steps taking you from the original choice to the goal are voluntary. N6n (talk) 14:44, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't know where I'm going with this but.....I made the deal for the taxi ride voluntarily. Under the governmental framework (including laws) where I live if I made the deal, and took the ride, then payment is mandatory, not voluntary, and the government will enforce it. I knew that when I voluntarily made the deal and took the ride. North8000 (talk) 17:49, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
The most basic voluntary association between individuals under a free market system is one where one person sells something to someone else. TFD (talk) 15:25, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
If it were involuntary, you wouldn't pay. You'll get down and say "I gave you the money, you threw it in the river", and walk away. The government only codifies what most people will do anyway. That this confusion arises is a monument to the state's rising power! Please read Albert Jay Nock's Our Enemy, The State, which has much to say on this issue. N6n (talk) 02:30, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

I think we need to distinguish between (1) what Long intends with his definition, and (2) whether it might be confusing to readers. Long's intention is to provide an expansive definition that can include both the U.S. Libertarian Party, and socialists & anarchists. This is clear if you read on in his article; he writes:

This definition includes under the libertarian aegis a number of conflicting positions. For example, my definition does not specify whether this redistribution of power is to be total or merely substantial, and so allows both anarchists and non-anarchists to count as libertarians; it also does not specify whether the criteria for "voluntary association" can be met by communal cooperatives or market exchanges, or both, and so grants the libertarian label indifferently to socialists ..and capitalists.

However I agree that the reference to "voluntary association" in the intro is potentially misleading. I've tried to clarify it; so now the wording is this:

libertarianism may be defined as "any political position that advocates a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals", whether voluntary association takes the form of the free market or communal co-operatives.

I don't agree that there's a problem with "radical redistribution of power" meaning anarchism; and, in any case, another sentence of the intro makes absolutely clear that libertarianism includes minarchists.

I like Long's definition, but I think it would be good if we could find at least one other expansive definition of libertarianism (that includes left/right/anarchist/minarchist/etc) to go in the introduction. It would be better if there wasn't so much emphasis on just one writer. Iota (talk) 17:07, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

But, again, the state is not a voluntary association of free individuals. Many libertarians support a state. Roderick is an anarchist who is using the term "libertarianism" as a synonym for "anarchism." That is ONE of the meanings of libertarianism. It also means anarchism. So, if that definition is there then there ought to be another non-anarchist one to offset it. Rapidosity (talk) 21:31, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Rapidosity, did you read my whole post carefully? Roderick T. Long states "my definition does not specify whether this redistribution of power is to be total or merely substantial, and so allows both anarchists and non-anarchists to count as libertarians". I think that's quite crystal clear. Iota (talk) 21:46, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I didn't see that. I guess it's an ok definition. It would probably better then to put that into the definition in the article. Because without that stipulation it looks like anarchism. I'll try to paraphrase it to get Long's gist. Rapidosity (talk) 22:19, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
As soon as an ideology issues a caveat that the entire jurisdiction of government authority is voluntary, or that there is no coercive State whatsoever, it no longer resembles a Libertarian ideology and becomes an Anarchist ideology. Otherwise, Anarchism and Libertarianism become virtually synonymous labels, and that is clearly absurd. BlueRobe (talk) 01:09, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
@BlueRobe: If you mean to affect the material in the article, please accompany your assertions with reliable sources. BigK HeX (talk) 01:14, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh, so you missed all those reliable sources that I posted? No worries...I'll post them again. --Xerographica (talk) 09:55, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

I've revised the Long quotation in the lead a bit, but for now I've left in the clarification that the redistribution of power is either "either total or substantial". But personally I don't think it's necessary, because I can't see how "a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state" is taken to mean the necessary abolition of the state. What do others think? Iota (talk) 13:00, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Family of Political Ideologies

Folks, please try to keep the original research to a minimum. Coming up with your own personal taxonomy of political positions doesn't contribute to the article, since we're not allowed to use original research in Wikipedia. The talk page is for discussion of improving the article only; it is not a general forum for chatting about our views on the subject. --FOo (talk) 23:26, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Original research? Seriously? Original research would be looking at the 2009 Federal Budget and concluding that paying for defense, the courts and some infrastructure would require a tax rate of around 4.5%. Of course, a peacetime defense budget would probably reduce that tax rate by half. THAT's original research. Trying to figure out the topic of this article based on which ideologies are included/excluded IS NOT original research. --Xerographica (talk) 03:35, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Pagemove request now "official"

An earlier informal pagemove discussion has now been given the official Page-Move header and request for input tag. Feel free to weigh-in with an opinion here: Talk:Libertarianism#Requested_move_.28Forms_of.29. BigK HeX (talk) 13:57, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

What the heck? I closed the previous discussion because it was obviously not achieving consensus, and now it has been re-opened and an additional one, a clone apparently, has been opened? What's going on? --Born2cycle (talk) 20:49, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
For the Move that you closed, see Wikipedia:Requested_moves/Closing_instructions#Conflicts_of_interest and then see [1].
The "clone" is the one that was started minutes before your proposal. It had gone for quite a few days without getting the pagemove template. BigK HeX (talk) 22:31, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I understand the technicality violation with a participant closing the discussion, but is there any practical good-for-Wikipedia reason to keep it open? --Born2cycle (talk) 00:00, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I second B2C; it was pretty definitive, so, technical issues aside, I see no point in keeping it open. Toa Nidhiki05 00:12, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Variations of Libertarianism "intimately related" to Mainstream Libertarianism

In an above thread, (that became hidden, possibly because someone (me) dared to make a friendly inoffensive joke in an effort to lighten an otherwise tense atmosphere), BigK HeX made the following declaration:

"It is about the exact same concept of libertarianism that certain editors keep trying to push as the One True Libertarianism and other political ideas prominently described by reliable sources as variations intimately related to that version."

This comment addresses the core of the dispute between those editors advocating a broad Libertarianism article, where left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism have equal prominence with mainstream Libertarianism in the Libertarianism article, and those editors advocating for a narrow Libertarianism article which accords predominance to mainstream Libertarianism and where the alternative aforementioned minor ideologies each have a small section to point out the notable features that distinguish them from Mainstream Libertarianism and/or relegate them to a disambiguation section/page.

The principles of left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism differ markedly from mainstream Libertarianism with regard to private property rights, the application of the Harm Principle, the desirability of State-enforced Positive Liberties, the need for a minimalist State and the importance of Negative Liberty.

So, what are the commonalities that the alternative aforementioned minor ideologies share with mainstream Libertarianism to justify the claim that they're "variations intimately related to" mainstream Libertarianism?

If we could resolve this issue, I think it would be significantly closer to finding some sort of consensus. BlueRobe (talk) 00:39, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Before we get too far .... do you agree that numerous sources describe Left-libertarianism and your so-called "mainstream Libertarianism" as related variations of a single concept? BigK HeX (talk) 00:42, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
BigK HeX, clearly, that is begging the question. BlueRobe (talk) 00:51, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not question begging. If you're accusing the authors from RS's of question begging, then your accusation is not relevant to my question. My question is straightforward. Do you acknowledge that reliable sources have promoted the viewpoint that I've asked you about? BigK HeX (talk) 00:54, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
For reference, feel free to review any/all of these RS:
  • Bevir, Mark. Encyclopedia of Political Theory. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications, 2010. page 811;
  • Vallentyne, Peter (September 5, 2002). "Libertarianism". In Edward N. Zalta. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University. ISSN [2]. Retrieved March 5, 2010. in addition to the better-known version of libertarianism—right-libertarianism—there is also a version known as 'left-libertarianism'  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help);
  • Christiano, Thomas, and John P. Christman. Contemporary Debates in Political Philosophy. Contemporary debates in philosophy, 11. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. page 121;
  • Lawrence C. Becker, Charlotte B. Becker. Encyclopedia of ethics, Volume 3 Encyclopedia of Ethics, Charlotte B. Becker, ISBN , page 1562;
  • Paul, Ellen F. Liberalism: Old and New. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007. page 187; and
  • Sapon, Vladimir; Robino, Sam (2010). "Right and Left Wings in Libertarianism". Canadian Social Science. 5 (6). 
  • Roderick T. Long, "Towards a Libertarian Theory of Class," Social Philosophy and Policy 15:2 1998, 303-349: 304-308.
So ... the question remains the same, do you agree that reliable sources, such as those listed here, describe left-libertarianism and your so-called "mainstream Libertarianism" as related variants of a single concept? Yes or No. BigK HeX (talk) 00:57, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
BigK HeX, please confine your comments to the editorial issue at hand: "what are the commonalities that the alternative aforementioned minor ideologies share with mainstream Libertarianism to justify the claim that they're "variations intimately related to" mainstream Libertarianism?" Answering this question would be a constructive step towards achieving consensus. BlueRobe (talk) 01:05, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I can't verify any of these, but the one quote you posted proves our point; Left-Libertarianism is a minor form of Libertarianism, if it can even be considered that. Your links simply prove its existence; that does not justify its addition to this page. When you find links from notable sources claiming LL as a 'significant' ideology, please post them here; your lack of doing so proves our point. Toa Nidhiki05 01:11, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
It's a fair question and one that is being unfairly dodged by invoking a silly semantic point. It should be clear that for the purpose of this question the definition of "mainstream libertarianism" excludes "left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism". For the record, that would not be my definition, but I'm not the one asking thte question. --Born2cycle (talk) 01:16, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Born2cycle, indeed, I am merely trying to help find some degree of consensus regarding the commonalities that left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism share with mainstream Libertarianism. Personally, I don't know what these alleged commonalities are. But, if they are "variations intimately related to" mainstream Libertarianism, as BigK HeX suggests, then it should be easy for BigK HeX to help achieve consensus by listing these important commonalities. BlueRobe (talk) 01:46, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There is no such thing as "mainstream Libertarianism", please take your US bias and lock it in a suitcase under your bed. The editorial direction summed up in the conceit of the phrase "mainstream Libertarianism" is historically and geographically blind, and very much so IDHT about RS. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:21, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Are you assuming bad faith? You might want to scratch that attack. Also, please provide RS for your statement, or else it is OR. Toa Nidhiki05 01:37, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
RS have been repeatedly given as to the breadth of the use of libertarianism and the variety of libertarian movements. Please refer to the archives. Also, your request is a rhetorical technique of demanding proof of a negative case. It is the positive case which is undemonstrated and unsourced. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:49, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

So, User:BlueRobe, do you refuse to answer the question about the viewpoint of numerous WP:RS? Yes or No? BigK HeX
BigK HeX, please confine your comments to the editorial issue at hand: "what are the commonalities that the alternative aforementioned minor ideologies share with mainstream Libertarianism to justify the claim that they're "variations intimately related to" mainstream Libertarianism?" Please help us to achieve consensus by addressing this important question. BlueRobe (talk) 01:48, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Someone wanting to show good faith interest in consensus would be discussing the reliable sources (not to mention showing less WP:IDHT about the RfC we had). You've made it quite apparent, you're not willing to do that. BigK HeX (talk) 02:22, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
BigK HeX, you raise a valid point, when you ask, "do you agree that numerous sources describe Left-libertarianism and your so-called "mainstream Libertarianism" as related variations of a single concept?" However, that issue is tangential and distracting to the editorial issue being address in this section. Let's address each issue one at a time. Please feel free to put that issue to the editorial community in a separate section of the Libertarianism talk page if you wish to do so. For now, please confine your comments to addressing the important question at hand:
"what are the commonalities that left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism share with mainstream Libertarianism to justify the claim that they're "variations intimately related to" mainstream Libertarianism?"
I believe that resolving this question is critical for achieving consensus among the editors of the Libertarianism page. BlueRobe (talk) 02:45, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The question cannot be addressed as it is malformed. The nature of its malformation is that it assumes a prior necessary consensus which either: does not exist; or, is a thumb in ear refutation of the significant opinion on what the topic of the article is. Reword the question if you seek it addressed. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:51, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Fifelfoo, they are the words of BigK HeX. And I don't have a problem with his choice of words. The question is quite clear. So, let's move on to answering this important question. BlueRobe (talk) 02:55, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
DO NOT falsely attribute your question to me. BlueRobe's question was concocted by BlueRobe. BigK HeX (talk) 07:13, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I do have a problem with his choice of words. The question is unimportant as it is malformed. The foundation of this discussion is rotten with a number of assumptions not supported by editorial consensus. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:18, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
BlueRobe writes: The principles of left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism differ markedly from mainstream Libertarianism with regard to private property rights, the application of the Harm Principle, the desirability of State-enforced Positive Liberties, the need for a minimalist State and the importance of Negative Liberty. Fine, write a section complete with WP:RS on that. In fact, feel free to add anything in appropriate sections with WP:RS that elucidates what you feel is the real libertarianism. Attempts to merely delete or disambiguate material, without assuring anyone that there will ever be a replacement for all that is deleted, including from neutral sources, makes one wonder what this article would look like if those who want to delete away had their way. CarolMooreDC (talk) 03:35, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Carolmooredc, my question is reasonable and relevant to the on-going dispute that has been endlessly endured by the editorial community of the Libertarianism page. Indeed, I don't see how any consensus can be achieved by the parties to this editorial dispute without first reaching an understanding as to what commonalities left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism share with mainstream Libertarianism.
Carolmooredc, you and BigK HeX (etc.) are the ones insisting that left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism are mere "variations" of mainstream Libertarianism. Indeed, that has been the corner-stone of your arguments for the "broad" approach to the Libertarianism page over recent weeks. But, if they are "variations intimately related to" mainstream Libertarianism, then surely they must share some commonalities. What are those shared commonalities?
I would address this question directly to BigK HeX, again, but he has mysteriously disappeared. Carolmooredc, perhaps you can answer it? BlueRobe (talk) 05:18, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
And, yet again, the reduction of Libertarianism to the politics of the USLP and the claim that this is the core of the topic without having substantiated this. A far superior question would be
  • What problems or themes coherently or discoherently unite the history, social movements and ideologies of libertarian socialism, left-libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, and minarchisms such as the politics of the United States Libertarian Party.
An answer was given above in an RS by Long. Fifelfoo (talk) 05:37, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Fifelfoo, I'm not at all sure what you're trying to say, but please stop intruding with barely relevant tangents. They are detracting from the discussion at hand. BlueRobe (talk) 05:57, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Secondary sources for libertarian socialism

libertarian socialism has been added back to the lede despite being considered a minority element by several editors. secondary sources have been requested, but not presented, until that time i suggest it be removed from the lede and discussed futher. Darkstar1st (talk) 08:17, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Crikey. If I made unilateral changes to the lede, without notification or consultation with the editorial community, I would be blocked by lunch.
Darkstar1st, I agree. It should be removed until such time as the editorial community can discuss the appropriateness (or not) of its inclusion in the lede. BlueRobe (talk) 08:21, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
The citation given in the article Sapon, Vladimir; Robino, Sam (2010). "Right and Left Wings in Libertarianism". Canadian Social Science 5 (6). is peer reviewed. Fifelfoo (talk) 08:39, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Is that a work originally written in French and then translated to English? Given the turns of phrase, that's how it appears to me, and would explain the unusual (for English) usage of the term libertarianism in it, since that usage is common in French. If so, then this is not a good source for determining English usage of the term libertarianism. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:21, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for looking at the RS. Consider this a reply to the comments made about Long's relevance to contemporary usage as well. It may have very well been translated from Canadian French. The article explicitly deals with libertarianism as the existing social-political phenomena, as such, the subject of the article is unlikely to have been mistranslated as Canadian academics supervising a translation of their work from Canadian French to Canadian English. 10 years is a relatively short period of time in the social sciences, articles of a political-theoretical aspect tend to remain relatively useful for fifty or more years (Hayek or Keynes for example). Momentary usage does not establish the encyclopaedic description of a two hundred year object of academic inquiry. If you're particularly interested in contemporary and popular usages there's always wiktionary which needs editors and compilers.
A far superior line of inquiry would be finding equivalent HQRS which compare Libertarianisms which are pro-market and Libertarianisms which are anti-capitalist and claim that they are fundamentally different and not connected; that would be able to lead to a contested WEIGHT argument, which would have to be reflected in the article "One literature centred around [x] analysis believes…A; whereas the smaller literature that holds [y] considers…B." This would still leave the Long–Sapon & Robinio analysis in the article, regardless of which literatures exist, as FRINGE doesn't really apply where the literature already exists in the Scholarly press in this way. Thanks again. Fifelfoo (talk) 18:35, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Attempts to insert Left Libertarianism into the lead via edit warring.

Doing it via edit warring instead of discussion is going to make a mess out of the situation here. Also, the comment (which essentially said that every sect mentioned in the article can / should be in the lead) is in conflict with the RFC closing and also with wp:npov / wp:undue. Please revert. Thanks. North8000 (talk) 13:38, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Left-lib has been in the lede. Attempts to strip left-lib via edit-warring is making the mess. Obviously, the repeated attempts at censoring left-lib in some fashion have been rebuffed ... REPEATEDLY in many of the proposals made. I don't find it needs to be removed from the lede, though I'm not really happy with how the lede has been gutted over the past few months .... though, you should direct questions about that to User:Darkstar1st. I think the far better alternative is expanding the lede, rather than censorship. BigK HeX (talk) 13:40, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Leaving it out of the lead is not "censoring".
I ran out of time to search back (or participate further today), but are you saying that it has recently been in the lead (not counting the insertion yesterday)? I briefly looked and it didn't seem so. North8000 (talk) 13:53, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
It's been in the lede for months (prior to the RfC, IIRC). Darkstar1st's disruptive attempt to remove it yesterday is certainly not reflective of the general past versions of the article. BigK HeX (talk) 13:56, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
A lede ought to summarise the article. We spend about half the article talking about major libertarian perspectives. We ought to mention these in the lede. Additionally, the citation supporting the diversity of varieties (Sapon, Vladimir; Robino, Sam (2010)) mentions libertarian socialism in its abstract and throughout. Fifelfoo (talk) 13:45, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
So you basically believe that we should screw logic (ie. Not putting conflicting statements in the lede), and include every Libertarian ideology under the sun there? Sounds like a really confusing way to organize an article to me, since the reader will be basically reading:
  • Libertarianism is for AND against the state
  • Libertarianism is Capitalist AND Socialist

Would this not be confusing to the reader? I hold that this is also a violation of WP:Primary topic, but your constant Wikilawyering gets us nowhere. Toa Nidhiki05 16:55, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

External reality in the form of the Reliable Sources indicate that Libertarianism is a series of political ideologies. They are treated as a domain (Sapon & Robino 2010, Long 1998). I refer you to the repeatedly cited reliable sources. And guess what the RS say? That Libertarianism is for AND against the state; That Libertarianism is Capitalist AND Socialist (Long 1998 304). I eagerly await your logic in peer reviewed articles and scholarly monographs. Fifelfoo (talk) 17:05, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Then Libertarianism would either be a Doublespeak ideology that stands for nothing, or an umbrella term. An ideology cannot be both Left AND Right wing, nor can it be both for AND against the state. And FYI, scholars and academia are, contrary to popular opinion, NOT the rulers of the universe. Toa Nidhiki05 17:19, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
As noted all over the place - can we stick to using sources to back up statements. --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 18:26, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Original research

point is made, lets get back to the content --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 19:55, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This talk page consists of too much text where individuals express their own views, without reference to sources or even explanation of how they relate to changes to the article. Obviously we should not add anything to the article that is unsourced and should not remove sourced text unless it conflicts with better sources. This is so distracting that anyone who has been away from the talk page for more than a few hours has difficulty following the conversation and new editors are discouraged. I suggest that we ask an administrator to come to the talk page and enforce the use of the talk page to discuss improvements to the article using only policy and reliable sources. Regarding primary sources, they have limited relevance and may have none here and should never be used to support original interpretations of subject matter. Their most obvious use is to obtain information about organizations rather than ideologies, and in some cases to illustrate information pointed out in secondary sources. TFD (talk) 17:44, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

I heartily agree, but short of ArbCom, I know of no mechanism for doing this. I believe admins have started watching this page, yet the WP:OR continues unabated. Hell ... we even have editors now who assert some RIGHT to post WP:OR here! I wish we could have general talk page guidelines enforced. The unconstructive contributions that have plagued this page for weeks/months would cease overnight.... BigK HeX (talk) 17:47, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Editors can be blocked for soapboxing or misuse of talk pages. TFD (talk) 18:04, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
They can be .... but, obviously, it's been going on for months, and little has happened. If anything, comments above indicate the WP:OR is getting bolder. BigK HeX (talk) 18:07, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
This may be a good point to note... I am keeping an eye on the page and plan to fairly heavy-handidly "hide" anything that strays off topic or turns into comments about editors or other discussion of no relevance. If I see too much of this I will hand out warnings. And if it gets any worse I will go to AN/I for sanctions. Consider this fair warning to stick on topic, use reliable sources to back up any statements/position you may have and avoid, like the plague, commenting on other editors. This applies to all contributors to the page. I have no vested interest in the topic and will not be commenting on the discussion. Keep it calm and civil and we should be fine. Most of all don't rise to each other! --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 18:30, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I, too, have intentions to collapse future WP:OR and unsourced soapboxing. BigK HeX (talk) 18:43, 17 September 2010 (UTC)}}
(edit conflict)As long as this article continues to present libertarianism in a manner that is inconsistent with usage in the English speaking world (not just the U.S., see #Mainstream libertarianism) today, as reflected in the vast majority of English secondary sources that refer to libertarianism, there will be objections manifested in a variety of ways on this talk page, as there have been not for the last few months, but for the last five years or more. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:36, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Editors: let's ignore all WP:OR/Soapbox and only discuss actual edits

I'd like to suggest that those of us who actually DO edit the article with new WP:RS ignore all the WP:OR WP:Soapbox on this page from now on. We only should discuss specific edits or reverts or very specific proposals (text and WP:RS) for such. (Except obviously any more RfCs, requests for moves, mediator questions should s/he return, etc.) This is a workable version of a suggestion at the most recent WP:ANI that we totally ignore the talk page. If soapboxers turn to edit war to disrupt actual improvements to the article, then that will be a cause for renewed calls for sanction, even more concrete than WP:Refusal to get the point. CarolMooreDC (talk) 23:50, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps you missed it because of some of the intermittent noise, but the main point of the previous section is to discuss whether editing out material in the article that states or implies that usage of libertarian and libertarianism in reliably published secondary English sources today refers to libertarian socialism is warranted, because, apparently, there is no such usage. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:37, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I guess this approach is worth a shot for a little while --- ignore the talk page junk, and make sure there aren't any article edits based on talk page junk. BigK HeX (talk) 00:46, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Carolmooredc, we have suggested "specific edits or reverts or very specific proposals (text and WP:RS)" over and over again. But, when we do, our constructive suggestions or questions or comments are inevitably deflected into yet another barrage of WIki-lawyering over every misplaced word. Indeed, we've learned to recognise when we've said something especially constructive because those are the comments that are ignored completely. Instead of receiving constructive feedback, unhelpful editors spend their time jumping at any opportunity (real or imagined) to hound us with revisionist WP:EverythingUnderTheSun Wiki-lawyering, as the previous thread clearly illustrates.
Carolmooredc, doesn't it strike you as odd that so many constructive threads spiral into absurd litanies of WP:THIS versus WP:THAT as a direct result of the behaviour of one or two recidivist editors? It certainly hasn't escaped my notice. BlueRobe (talk) 01:05, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Add something for a change instead of always trying to delete stuff according to your repeatedly rejected deletionist POV. I think that is something editors can safely ignore. Part of the package. CarolMooreDC (talk) 01:11, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
lol .. you got soapbox'ed in your "let's ignore soapboxing" thread. BigK HeX (talk) 01:18, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
BlueRobe, let's first focus on seeing whether the "left-libertarianism as libertarianism" content currently in the article is really as well sourced as it is claimed to be. See the section below this one.

Let's start collapsing all sections that are just soapbox??

That would be an ancillary motion to one above. Please stick to this topic or see off topic section resectioned or just collapsed. Thanks. CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:32, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Mainstream libertarianism (continued)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Carolmooredc, I'll repeat my initial offer of at a compromise solution(yet again):

Mainstream Libertarianism (aka. right-Libertarianism) is the predominant ideology in the Libertarianism article and the lede. The ideologies of left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism each have their own section, including a few sentences to note the features that distinguish those ideologies from mainstream Libertarianism, within the Libertarianism article.

Neither side will be especially happy with such a solution, but that is why we call it a "compromise". You have previously ignored/rejected this suggestion. What say you, now? BlueRobe (talk) 01:24, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

OR... we could make mention of the various strains of Libertarianism, in places including the lede and throughout various sections of the article. Making sure that right-libertarianism gets fair weighting, while not censoring other views. This seems more appropriate. What say you? BigK HeX (talk) 01:33, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
BigK HeX, I respectfully suggest that your solution is akin to putting elements of the kitchen, and the bathroom, and the lounge into every room of a home. How is anyone supposed to understand the Libertarianism article if competing - and frequently, antagonistic - ideologies are being lumped together in the same sections and paragraphs?
For instance, what is the casual reader to make of a section on Libertarian property rights if left-Libertarianism (communal property rights and egalitarian distributive justice) and mainstream Libertarianism (private property rights and Laissez-faire economics) are lumped together? BlueRobe (talk) 01:39, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I guess I'll go with the obvious here, and say that a reader will make out that reliable sources describe there being differing views on property rights among libertarians... BigK HeX (talk) 01:57, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
A core idea of the "roadmap" I proposed was to start finding and putting in sourced material about groups actually practicing, promoting or following Libertarianism. This would start building information to sort out the bigger issues later. Still worth considering, even as a sidebar to the main debate? North8000 (talk) 01:58, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
BigK HeX, I can already see the casual reader rolling her eyes as she reads, "Libertarians have differing views on... property rights, on the role of the State, on whether there is even a State at all, on egalitarian distributive justice versus Laissez-faire economics, on the voluntariness (or not) of State institutions, on the jurisdiction of the State, on the legitimacy of State coercion, on whether the functions of State institutions may be contracted out to the private sector, on the role of Positive Liberty vis-a-vis Negative Liberty..." I can already hear her saying "thanx for nothing."
Of course, such confusion could be resolved, to some extent, if you would address the issue that was repeatedly put to you yesterday:
"What are the commonalities that left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism share with mainstream Libertarianism to justify the claim that they're "variations intimately related to" mainstream Libertarianism?" BlueRobe (talk) 02:32, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Far more "confusion" would be resolved if we had an answer to the question posed to you. Do you agree that reliable sources, such as those listed earlier, describe left-libertarianism and your so-called "mainstream Libertarianism" as related variants of a single concept? Yes or No. (I'll be interested to see if there's yet another non-answer...) BigK HeX (talk) 03:42, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
BigK HeX, you don't seem to understand how this works. I asked you a question. Now, you answer my (reasonable and extremely relevant) question. Then, you can ask me a question. I'm not playing "answer my question with a (rhetorical) question". BlueRobe (talk) 03:49, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
BlueRobe, you should read about the subject. In fact the whole point of Wikipedia is that people like yourself, who are ignorant of topics, may read articles and elucidate themselves. Other editors are not here in order to provide private tutorials. TFD (talk) 03:53, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
TFD, as per WP:PlayNice, please refrain from using argumentum ad hominem and making nasty comments about other editors. BlueRobe (talk) 03:57, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
The commonalities have been explained to you and of course you have the ability to read the literature. You may disagree with what is written but to pretend that you do not understand it is disingenuous. You have shown a level of intelligence that cannot explain your failure to understand obvious connections explained in numerous sources. So my question is why you continue to place objections you are well aware are insulting to everyone's intelligence, including your own. TFD (talk) 05:00, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, it's you who seems to miss the point. If you really want to somewhat misuse this talk page as a forum for your personal information-gathering expedition, then you can assure me that you've decided to discuss this matter in good faith, or I will not expend effort on a futile discussion. I generally don't mind having a reasoned (perhaps somewhat forum-ish) discussion with someone who has an open mind, when there's a good chance that it could work towards a solution, but obviously -- not being in the vocal minority here -- I'm OK with either outcome of us discussing or not. So, if your next response to me is not a direct yes/no answer to the question I've asked you about reliable sources and left-lib, then you can assume that I'm not participating in your fact-finding mission. BigK HeX (talk) 04:01, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── BigK HeX, so, you are not going to answer my (reasonable and extremely relevant) question, then? I don't know why. Reaching some sort of understanding regarding the commonalities left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism share with mainstream Libertarianism would go a long way towards achieving consensus among the editorial community. And, as it is you who made the claim that they're "variations intimately related to" mainstream Libertarianism, I think it is only fair - and logical - that you have first crack at describing these commonalities. BlueRobe (talk) 04:09, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

BlueRobe, you have the intelligence to understand what I am saying and know that I am merely repeating what is found in reliable sources. You are also well aware of WP policy that explains how and why reliable sources are used. However I have found a lot of people who have taken a similar approach to yours and am interested to understand this. But you should consider why you are presenting all these arguments which you are aware are unacceptable based on the criteria used by Wikipedia for inclusion of text and is ultimately wasting the time of numerous people who otherwise would be contributing to the encyclopedia and improving the advancement of knowledge. TFD (talk) 04:24, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
TFD, the claim that left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism are "variations intimately related to" mainstream Libertarianism is one of the cornerstone's of the "broad" approach to the Libertarianism page. The question regarding which commonalities those minor ideologies share with mainstream Libertarianism is critical for achieving consensus among the editorial community of this page.
If no significant commonalities exist, then, logically, we have a strong impetus for a "narrow" approach to the Libertarianism page. If significant commonalities do exist, then they may well provide the building blocks for a consensus-by-compromise among the editors.
Given the obvious importance of this issue, I am at a loss to explain why BigK HeX (and yourself) have failed to provide any commonalities whatsoever (let alone any that are backed up by WP:RS). BlueRobe (talk) 04:40, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Your view of what "mainstream libertarianism" is SOAPBOXing. Your SOAPBOXing on this issue is disrupting the page. This discussion is not related to "actual edits". Please stop. I have taken this opportunity to warn you. Fifelfoo (talk) 04:57, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Commonalities about left and right lib have been presented. Even without that, you're more than welcome to research the commonalities for yourself in the reliable sources presented many, many times. It is NOT our job to do your research for you. Next time you want someone to humor you, then you might want to show that you're interested in doing the same. BigK HeX (talk) 05:00, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
The commonalities have been explained to you and of course you have the ability to read the literature. You may disagree with what is written but to pretend that you do not understand it is disingenuous. You have shown a level of intelligence that cannot explain your failure to understand obvious connections explained in numerous sources. So my question is why you continue to place objections you are well aware are insulting to everyone's intelligence, including your own. TFD (talk) 05:00, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Fifelfoo, clearly, these posts are aimed at achieving some sort of consensus among the editors to the Libertarianism page. In the current thread, I am merely asking BigK HeX (etc.) to provide some critically relevant information - the commonalities that left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism share with mainstream Libertarianism, (backed up with WP:WS). Without this information - the identification of these significant commonalities backed up with WP:WS - the ideologies of left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism have no significant relationship to mainstream Libertarianism and should be deleted from the Libertarianism article.
In short, I am simply consulting with the editorial community, and giving editors an opportunity to illustrate the alleged "intimate" relationship between left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism, Anarcho-Capitalism and mainstream Libertarianism, before I delete the inappropriate references to those ideologies from the Libertarianism article. It doesn't get more relevant than that. BlueRobe (talk) 05:21, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
"before I delete the inappropriate references to those ideologies from the Libertarianism article"
Removing reliably sourced material about a viewpoint already supported for inclusion by an RfC would likely be considered to be disruptive. It's not recommended behavior. BigK HeX (talk) 05:26, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
BigK HeX, please list the commonalities that left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism share with mainstream Libertarianism, with WP:RS.
To date, we have seen little to justify their inclusion within the Libertarianism article aside from a handful of references to second-rate academics who briefly mentioned "left-Libertarianism" and "Libertarianism" in the same breath. BlueRobe (talk) 05:34, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
BlueRobe, you have the intellectual capacity to understand what we are talking about, you have read the literature and it is insulting to us to pretend that you are ignorant of the literature and WP policy. Although you may believe that you are striking a blow for your version of libertarianism all you are doing is persuading us that your groupuscule is misleading and sacrifices honesty. TFD (talk) 05:34, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
TFD, please respect WP:GOODFAITH. BlueRobe (talk) 05:37, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Goodfaith needs to be reciprocated BlueRobe. That means avoiding OR, respecting references and other material which have been provided and not arguing a case from the perspective of your particular ideology. I also suggest you don't attempt to delete reliably sourced material, especially after an RfC. I think most editors would consider that disruptive behaviour. --Snowded TALK 07:24, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Snowded, please respect WP:GOODFAITH. BlueRobe (talk) 07:49, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I am BlueRobe, I am ...--Snowded TALK 07:55, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Snowded, you have implied that I am not acting in good faith, "Goodfaith needs to be reciprocated BlueRobe." You have accused me of "arguing a case from the perspective of your particular ideology", (I am not a Libertarian, I simply object to a Wikipaedia Libertarianism article that misrepresents Libertarianism). You have pre-emptively accused me of inappropriately planning to "delete reliably sourced material", despite the fact that I have not, at any point, indicated that I would ignore due editorial process (including the consultation with my fellow editors in this thread) before making such changes. Note: I have not made a single edit of the Libertarianism article in the many weeks that I have been a regular in the Libertarianism talk page, let alone an inappropriate edit, so it's highly inappropriate to accuse me of planning to disrupt the Libertarianism article.
Evidently, you are not respecting WP:GOODFAITH. Note: I would have put these points to you in your User talk page, but you deleted my attempt to address these concerns with you in that setting. BlueRobe (talk) 08:19, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Compare and contrast, for sake of argument
Find sources: "Mainstream Libertarianism" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
Find sources: "Anarcho-capitalism" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference (or whatever you choose to compare) Otherwise, if there are not any WP:RS in this section, let's collapse it as irrelevant soapbox. CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:19, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Source questioned: "Towards a Libertarian Theory of Class"

Resolved: Clearly peer-reviewed and reliably published BigK HeX (talk) 03:40, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

The are a total of (5) google results for what is currently the 2nd source for this article (Roderick T. Long, "Towards a Libertarian Theory of Class," Social Philosophy and Policy 15:2 1998, 303-349: 304.).

  1. this article
  2. a mention in a podcast
  3. a mention in an email archive
  4. a reference to "the paper" in forum for "Libertarian Democrats"
  5. a blog of a "Freedom Democrat"

It's not on Amazon. It's not at (There are no results searching for the title at, which means no book there has ever referenced this paper supposedly "published" in 1998). How is this a reliable source? Is it reliably published? Where? By whom? I'm questioning this source and all information in the article based on it. I suggest others double-check other sources; many more are probably questionable like this one. --Born2cycle (talk) 01:31, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

I believe that confirms that the Roderick T. Long text does not constitute a WP:RS. BlueRobe (talk) 01:35, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
(One would think that with as many academic degrees as are listed on your page, you'd have corrected the error, instead of sharing in it.) But anyways ... someone's odd lapse in reading bibliographies is hardly confirmation of anything. Though feel free to rush headlong onto the bandwagon anyways. BigK HeX (talk) 01:37, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Ummm.... why are you posting the name of the publishing journal and simultaneously questioning how the paper was published????? In any case... see: [3] or [4] BigK HeX (talk) 01:37, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
This constitutes disruptive editing. Please stop. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:50, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Fifelfoo, who are you referring to? What are you referring to? It almost sounds like you've branded Born2cycle's post as disruptive because he demonstrated that a source, that was previously labelled a WP:RS, is not a WP:RS. But, that can't be right... BlueRobe (talk) 02:57, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
You mean the source published in THIS PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL BY CUP? Do you either of you know how to read a footnote? Fifelfoo (talk) 03:01, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
It does not appear that either of the editors had properly comprehended the academic Cambridge Journal footnote. BigK HeX (talk) 03:32, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

An article published in a peer-reviewed academic journal is a reliable source. One may challenge it by producing peer-reviewed articles that rebut it. But a website run by hoons is not a reliable source and providing dozens of such websites does not increase their reliablity. Some editors seem to have difficulty in distinguishing between an article published in an academic journal and statements written by a member of a fringe party on a website. Please read WP:RS which explains this. Also please detach yourselves from the subject. The article should explain how the subject is normally understood not how a fringe element in America describes themselves. While I find fringe groups fascinating and am interested in American extremist groups, this is not the article in which to describe them. TFD (talk) 03:25, 17 September 2010 (UTC)


How many citations does "Towards a Libertarian Theory of Class" have? For example, "Libertarianism: a primer" by David Boaz has 99 citations. --Xerographica (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Interesting question, but not particularly relevant: Citation counts and impact factors are notoriously inaccurate and not representative of scholarly impact in the social sciences and humanities. Fifelfoo (talk) 18:18, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
In other words, not a single scholar or academic thought Long's article was worth citing. Yet, we use his definition in the lead over David Boaz's definition...even though David Boaz is the vice president of the Cato Institute...the 5th most influential think tank in the world. --Xerographica (talk) 19:32, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
 Not done This isn't really leading anywhere reasonable. The source is reliable, although it is important to bear in mind the lack of citation when it goes up against other sources in ver specific matters. On the other hand the fact that one author is more influential than the other is not really important as the material is all peer reviewed. Can we drop this line of reasoning and focus on specific issues --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 19:58, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, Xerographica's claim that the paper is not cited is speculative original research (and inaccurate). That's part of the reason that I collapsed it. But, I'll let you take over with this OR stuff. BigK HeX (talk) 20:03, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
This is as specific as it gets. Long's definition of libertarianism is the third sentence in this article. For some reason that I can't fathom his definition has replaced other definitions from widely cited sources. --Xerographica (talk) 20:19, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
That may be a reasonable point for discussion. I suggest that the right approach is to run with a new thread and present a) this source and b) your counter sources all with the relevant quotes and take such a discussion from there. There is no relevance in finding ways to undermine the source purely on its own w/o comparison --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 21:10, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Thank you

Thank you for pointing out the link to where this paper could be purchased, though I'm not sure why there is so much hand-wringing about this. For an academic paper over 10 years old, I found the apparent dearth of citations in reliable sources referencing it to be odd, and therefore questionable. I still don't think we should rely much (if at all) on such an obviously isolated piece, especially with respect to the issue of determining what libertarianism means in English usage today. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:17, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree that it should not be a lead definition. One of several, showing variety of views, sure. CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:47, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

POV tag

ok, there is now an RFC (man....) on the tag. So this is going bye bye because it is strayed into inappropriate territory r.e. mark. Please lets be constructive! --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 23:57, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Howdy, i am an uninvolved editor who has come here from ANI. There is a POV tag on this article yet to section here for the tag? I shall try to mediate the current conflict and ask people to point out what they believe is breaking WP:NPOV, i expect you all to keep comments as brief as possible and avoid commenting on editors lets stick to content here people mark nutley (talk) 21:57, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

It's an ongoing issue that's been long-archived. However, I don't even think the active editors here who would likely oppose the tag feel they have yet dedicated enough specific effort on the matter to make an indisputable case to argue for its removal. Just FYI: Going into this issue might spark some premature drama, where we have an ample supply already. BigK HeX (talk) 22:09, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. If there is one thing that BigK HeX and I can agree on, it is the appropriateness of that POV tag. BlueRobe (talk) 22:30, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
We have recently have had two RfCs about the neutrality of this article and the overwhelming response is that the treatment of the subject is neutral. There is no explanation based on reliable sources to explain why the article should be tagged and therefore I will remove it. If anyone believes that the tag is warranted, please explain and possibly set up a third RfC.
While I admire mark nutley's desire to mediate, his previous history in promoting fringe theories, fringe views and fringe sources, including articles about global warming and Communism may disqualify him from showing neutrality.
TFD (talk) 22:32, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Just as a note; let's avoid questioning Mark's past actions too much. I suggest seeing how it goes; certainly any help is appreciated from my perspective. Mark I recommend reading most of this page - it is a long running and complicated dispute :) --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 22:40, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Well... I don't think his interests can necessarily disqualify User:Marknutley, although the litany of sanctions against him (which I believe are still active) might be a small concern, though even then ... not necessarily. I'm willing to WP:AGF about his capabilities on this matter (unless there is evidence to the contrary, whereupon, we could always seek outside input). BigK HeX (talk) 22:44, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
TFD, what definition of "overwhelming" are you using? Aside from 2 or 3 random editors who were dragged in for one-off votes before disappearing again, the RfCs demonstrated how evenly split the Libertarianism editorial community really is.
WARNING! TFD, do NOT vandalise the Libertarianism page by removing the clearly-appropriate POV tag. BlueRobe (talk) 22:45, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure there's ever a situation where removing a tag is properly considered "vandalism" on Wikipedia. Perhaps, you mean some other description...?

""mark nutley has consistently promoted the fringe theory that global warming is a hoax, he was prohibited against providing fringe sources for global warming articles, and he refers to Communists as "Commies". He obviously does not have the understanding of policy or the neutrality required in order to be helpful. BlueRobe, please look up the definition of vandalism here and in dictionaries. Removing a tag can in no sense be seen as vandalism, but accusing someone of vandalism is a personal attack. If you believe the tag should remain then please explain why. But so far you have provided no reason. TFD (talk) 23:02, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Ok, point made. Past unrelated actions, though, are not entirely relevant to an attempt to help out here. Wind it down or get back to discussing the POV tag or I will close this --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 23:05, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
TFD, I'm also a sceptic of Man-made Climate Change theory. So are many eminent scientists. I don't see how a reasonable scientific (political?) belief that differs from that of the mainstream commentary disqualifies anyone from having a neutral or intelligent approach to other unrelated issues.
There is no consensus among the editors of Libertarianism for the removal of the POV tag. Indeed, even BigK HeX has endorsed retention of the POV tag in the Libertarianism article. BlueRobe (talk) 23:11, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok the tag is back, lets not argue over it, lets discuss what can be done to fix the actual issues ya? mark nutley (talk) 23:13, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
mark nutley has placed the following comment on my talk page, "Sigh, TFD i (sic) have never said GW is a hoax ok. Now i (sic) have offered to help mediate the articles (sic) current conflict, i (sic) also asked editors to comment on content, yet all you have done thus far is comment on me, please refrain from doing so and perhaps the article can move forward?" I do not see this comment as an offer of independence and the comment on global warming is disingenuous. mark nutley must explain why he considers the article to be biased. There have been two RfCs on this already and mark nutley should explain what remaining disputes may exist. TFD (talk) 23:27, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Things were going very well, now there is argument of a tag.... as a remedy how about we use {{disputed}} (there is a dispute over content) and move onto the real issues --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 23:36, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

TFD, for goodness sake. And I thought I was paranoid about Wikipaedia's powers-that-be. All Marknutley has done is politely ask you (in private) to be WP:CIVIL and focus on the issues at hand with a view to achieving greater harmony in the Talk:Libertarianism page. How on Earth could you object to that? BlueRobe (talk) 23:42, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
mark nutley, the fact that someone can guess that you are a "sceptic of Man-made Climate Change theory" is disturbing. It means that you are promoting a fringe theory and that is obvious to everyone. Neutral editors do not push fringe theories, they demand neutrality. TFD (talk) 23:52, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Going forward

It's good to see some more editors eyes-on the page. So, lets re-encourage some more contribution. Reading up there are three immediately outstanding issues:

  • Xerographica raised a point above about how there may be counter-definitions for libertarianism in a wider array of sources. I have suggested that rather than approach this from the perspective of undermining the one source for lack of citation it might be better to bring all of the counter sources into it and present the relevant quoted definitions in a new section.
  • We have a discussion about Ayn Rand which needs concluding - perhaps it is about the time for someone to write a proposed addition and post it here for review? (there seems rough consensus for some form of inclusion)
  • Issues about what descriptions/wording/types to include in the lead. This seems to have two threads with different issues - but the main one is probably Talk:Libertarianism#Secondary_sources_for_libertarian_socialism, the source is under discussion and could do with input.

Sound ok? --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 22:49, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

I'll put something together about Ayn Rand. It will take a few days as I check sources and formatting, etc. BlueRobe (talk) 22:52, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok we have errant and bluerobe working on content here, anyone want to chip in and help? mark nutley (talk) 23:10, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Just as a note I am not working on content - just trying to keep discussions on track (in fact I am deliberately avoiding too much direct interaction with content) --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 23:17, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Errant, ironically, I am so concerned about due process, regarding notification and consultation with the editorial community, before I make any changes to an article that my restoration of the POV tag was my first edit of the Libertarianism article. You'd think that would earn me some brownie points... ;-) BlueRobe (talk) 23:20, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I just checked in after taking 36 hours off and the first thing I see and correct is blatant POV/WP:OR using existing sources. I think the whole lead has to be rechecked for this problem. But it's definitely sloppy editing at best, and POV editing warring at worst. When you have to keep checking misuse of sources, it's hard to add new content. And this discussion of POV tag is a total waste of time since it's obvious the article is considered POV by editors on all sides of issues. CarolMooreDC (talk) 14:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Errant, here's the new section with quite a few counter sources... scope of government --Xerographica (talk) 19:18, 18 September 2010 (UTC)


Imagine, if you will, two armies in battle. These two armies are fighting over a relatively insignificant chunk of land; both sides strongly believe they deserve the land. Now, imagine one of the armies proposes some ideas on how to end this obviously ridiculous battle, and work together to ensure an amiable compromise. In response to their ideas, however, the second army responds with a clenched fist, rejecting any and all solutions other than unconditional surrender by the first army. Thus, the two armies fight forever and never accomplish anything.

This is the current state of this article; I have no doubt both sides, including the one I am on, want this conflict to end; however, this conflict cannot end unless both sides make concessions and compromise. The uncompromising Battlefield mentality on this page (from both sides) is starting to drive me (and perhaps many others) insane. I would be willing to compromise; however, compromise cannot be accomplished unless both sides are willing to set aside their differences and work together to improve this page; compromise cannot be accomplished without both sides being willing to accept it. I would personally like this talk page to be a civil place to resolve this conflict. Will it work? Probably not, but I am willing to try, and I hope some other editors are too. Can we all agree to have civil discourse from here on, with no threats or attacks from either side, and to work together instead of acting so divisive? Toa Nidhiki05 02:18, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Toa Nidhiki05, good sentiments, and a great metaphor.
I too have experienced considerable frustration at the failure of some editors to give an inch towards achieving editorial consensus through compromise. Indeed, such frustration recently resulted in me being blocked for one week, lol.
To that end, I repeat the offer of a compromise:
We recognise the natural predominance of mainstream Libertarianism within the Libertarianism article and the lede, while left-Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism would each have their own sections (with pipelinks - because they already have their own easy-to-find Wikipaedia articles) within the main Libertarianism article.
While neither camp will be especially thrilled at such a compromise, I see this as the best way forward to achieving consensus within the editorial community. What say you, TFD, BigK HeX, CarolMooreDC and others? BlueRobe (talk) 02:38, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
It is hard to airbrush out left-libertarianism because that would mean excluding the history of the movement and removing core beliefs. While you have explained what you want in the article you have not explained what you want to see. TFD (talk) 02:47, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
While the sentiments of this thread sound nice, actions speak louder than words. As my talk page has already been misused just today, you'll forgive me if I just wait around until I see what actual actions are taken.
Also, I'll repeat that WP:IDHT is not a sufficient basis for seeking concessions. Personally, I'm not swayed in the least by editors acting tendentiously and whose sole bargaining chip is the threat that they'll continue to rant, despite every one of the proposals from the vocal minority being clearly rejected by the Wikipedia community. If you seek compromise, then give us solid argumentation, reasonable proposals, and reliable sources. (For reference, proposals to reduce most of the mention of the well-sourced viewpoints, such as left-lib/etc, to mere "pipelinks" based on unsourced speculation fails every single one of those criteria.) BigK HeX (talk) 03:04, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
BigK HeX ... /facepalm BlueRobe (talk) 03:21, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
BigK HeX , as I noted above, the previous RfC on this issue resulted in 8 votes for "POV tag is inappropriate" against 6 votes for "POV tag is appropriate". Your continued description of this result as an "overwhelming" consensus for removing the POV tag is a clear violation of WP:CONSENSUS and WP:IDHT. Please stop WP:SOAPBOXing and help the editorial community to work towards achieving a consensus through compromise. BlueRobe (talk) 03:29, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

The offer made was for a civil discourse. That sounds like a good approach; so how about we give it a shot :) take a look at the issues already highlighted and perhaps propose some source supported modifications to the article :) --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 09:39, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Good idea. A couple observations: I have been involved trying to help in numerous Wikipedia article trouble situations and there two things unusual about the situations here, one which helps make it's prospects better, one which helps make them worse. What helps make them better is that I don't see an underlying conflict driving this, as is the usual case with contentious articles. Instead the battle itself has massively eclipsed anything that it was about. What makes the prospect worse is the extreme complexity of the job of trying to put Libertarianism into an article or set of articles. This compounds with all of the other challenges on contentious articles. North8000 (talk) 10:27, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
North8000, as usual, you are the voice of reason. BlueRobe (talk) 10:57, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
The underlying conflict is pretty blatantly obvious. There are editors interested in furthering the article's conformance to their own personal rigid, real-life POV, without concern for the viewpoints prominent throughout zillions of reliable sources and without concern for the community's overwhelming advisement that their claims of PRIMARYTOPIC are rejected. BigK HeX (talk) 13:22, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Second. Per WP:NPOV: All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. This is non-negotiable and expected of all articles and all editors. CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:52, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
BigK and Carol, I would consider what you are writing about to be methods of warfare, and actually conducting that warfare. I don't consider that to be an underlying conflict. The most prevalent form of underlying conflict is when the article is a meeting place between persons/groups who are opponents of each other outside of Wikipedia. As a hypothetical example, if there were "Left Libertarians" and "Right Libertarians" (ugh, I can't believe I used those words) who were opponents of each other in the outside world. I don't see that here. North8000 (talk) 16:30, 18 September 2010 (UTC)