On the latest edition of Being Libertarian Presents, Charles Peralo interviews Hasan Piker from The Young Turks, who published the infamous video titled “Libertarianism Debunked.” Right from the beginning, Piker admits that he agrees “with a bunch of libertarian ideas,” and that the crossover mainly is on foreign policy and social policy.
In discussing his video, he admits that in his view that “its hard to break down and compartmentalize what aspect of libertarianism we’re talking about, because I personally feel that libertarianism doesn’t have a very well defined ‘this-is-what-it-means-to-be-libertarian’ mentality. There’s anarcho-capitalism, there’s minarchism, there’s classical liberals. I personally haven’t seen one clear cut definition,” and notes that he doesn’t “know exactly what to look at as far as libertarianism, [or] what defines libertarianism,” which seems to suggest that his video was a broad, general attack on the shrinking of government rather than an attack on a specific wing of libertarianism.
Most of the interview was a discussion about the role of government, and which direction – and how far in that direction – we should take it. Piker advocated not for full socialism, or full “democratic socialism,” but “moderation […] a middle ground between capitalism and democratic socialism.” He believes that the answer to problems both sides agree exist – for example cronyism – isn’t fixed by “cutting down the federal government,” but rather expanding its power.
On specific policy, he’s in favor of socialized medicine, in favor of a system of college that keeps the bar high for entry but for those who do get into public universities, they “shift the budget” around a bit to make “public universities completely public.” He also believes raising taxes is the best way to achieve such results. In terms of his stance on socialized medicine, and how the U.S. is the only country that doesn’t allow the import of medicines, Piker asserted that “I agree with [Peralo, and libertarians alike] as far as opening up medication to international markets […] but at the same time, I think that there is a need to protect those that can’t help themselves,” through socialized medicine. He believes the role of government, in a broad stroke, is to “to protect and regulate, to ensure that citizens have basic access,” to essentials.
On the presidential candidates he states that “all of [Bernie’s] policies were never going to be implemented,” but we should strive to do some of those things. On the topic of Bernie, he actually compared Bernie to libertarians in how “extreme” they were on each side. Piker asserts that candidates like Trump wouldn’t arise in a well-educated society. Touching briefly on Clinton, he notes that she is hypocritical on Citizens United, a ruling she benefits from greatly, more – he believes – than Donald Trump benefits from it.
In closing, he posited that the Democratic Party should become more liberal than pushing for a third party to take votes away from them, which would lead to candidates like Trump gaining the presidency.
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