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Saturday, December 24, 2016

On Sane Libertarians

I gravitated towards Libertarianism first Presidential Election, I voted for Ron Paul.
I knew even then that I did not agree with his entire program, every jot and tittle...but he came closer to where I intuitively was than any others on offer.
Now, that honor goes to Bernie....and I really don't see a disconnect between the two that matters all that much.
My problem with Libertarians is Dogma...and their habit of making the Perfect the enemy of the Good.
Statements like this(from the comments) are all too common:
“I would measure freedom by one criteria: Does the state tax? If so, its subjects not free. And they truly are subjects of their government when their rulers can take thel fruits of their labor without their consent. There is no essential difference between enforced taxation and slavery. “

I've argued with Libertarian Zealots about this repeatedly over the years.
FreeMarket Worship is just as bad as the Historical Determinism of many Marxists I have known(I argue with them, too).
Purity will get you nowhere, so long as there are more than a handful of Humans attempting to live together.
With both of these Dogmatic Zealotries, it is the classic Is/Ought Problem...the world is not Perfect...Humans are far from Ideal...and we are left to do our best in uncertain and imperfect conditions.
The Libertarian Zealots who, as expected, come screaming out of Subspace in response to such articles as this, are as blind and dogmatic as the Hyperchristians, the Hyperatheists and the Hypermarxists that they often rail against.
The same malady, of course, infects our mainstream political groupings, as well: the “Progressive” who won't call you an ally because you eat meat, smoke cigarettes, or have a bit of latent racism embedded in your psych.
The Teabilly moron, who hates you because you don't agree with him that Obama is a Fascist Socialist Kenyan Muslim from the Pleiades.
The “christian” who won't break bread with you because you don't agree with every contradictory tenet of his version of Xtianity.
Dogmatism, Certainty and an insistence on Purity are the three evils that keep us from enjoying nice things.
I'm pleased to see that at least some Libertarians are eschewing the Temple of Moloch, and venturing out into the world as it actually exists.


I loathe Stossel,lol.
He is exactly the type of “libertarian” that makes folks loathe Libertarianism.
“Free Market”...I'd like Stossel to define that.
The idea...never stated openly...that Multinational Corporations are the Pinnacle of Freedom, ignores so much of the actual world as to be silly.
The folks who peddle that nonsense are also, ironically, prone to flinging phrases such as “weak minded Libtards”, and “hippy dippy utopians”.
I have often flung right back the caveat:
Sure...lets try your free market paradise....but first, we must redistribute the wealth equally among all humans.
Otherwise, what we end up with is what we have right now...except worse.
How is a Billionaire any different than a King?
Didn't we fight a Revolution against such unearned power/wealth?
This feature of common libertarianism is why so many erstwhile libertarians have ended up advocating an abandonment of Democracy as a failure, and the institution of some form of monarchy...whether of the CEO or of some enlightened philosopher long as they get to be the king/ceo or one of his advisers(see; Moldbug, Thiel)
I'm an unapologetic Left Libertarian.
Free Market means that I can sell an egg, and that the egg factory's “economies of scale” don't end up being an unfair advantage, like they are, today.
I reckon that the “efficiency” argument for such near monopoly is hopelessly marred, in that it encourages such monopoly...which is the exact opposite of “freedom”.
I feel the same about Billionaires...there shouldn't be any.
Tax the fuck out of all “income” over, say, 500 million...
Billionaires have proven, over and over, that they cannot be trusted with the Power that accompanies such wealth....and that such power always corrupts.
Since there are other people in the world...and we must figure out how to share the world with them...a Social Contract is necessary.
The presence of Billionaires and Multinational immortal fictions is inimical and anathema to such a Social Contract.

FTA:”Hostility to the very idea of social and distributive justice lent weight—and continues to lend weight—to the charge that those who defend robust economic rights, regulatory restraint, and limited government are heartlessly indifferent to the welfare of the poor and working classes. Moreover, libertarian and conservative hostility to social justice creates a strong, though illogical, presumption of hostility to whatever social justice is thought to require. That’s why many advocates of economic liberty—even those who don’t believe in the absolute inviolability of property rights and the inherent injustice of redistribution—reflexively badmouth the welfare state with little regard for the possibility that the welfare state is an efficiency-enhancing institution that helps maintain popular support for relatively free markets by ensuring they more or less benefit everyone. Meanwhile, people who like social insurance, and worry about bad luck and the human costs of capitalist creative destruction—that is to say, most people—turn away in contempt or bemusement from what’s advertised to them as the politics of freedom. “

I'll venture an Amen, here.
Too often these days, Libertarians ARE uncaring assholes, better suited to dwelling in caves, alone, than being a part of a Society.(asserting that “Society doesn't exist” is one of the worst sins of Maggie Thatcher and her ilk).
The existence of the rest of the Humans on the planet is dismissed, other words, these Libertarians make arguments for their Total Freedom that rely on unspoken, unacknowledged assumptions, primarily that other Humans don't matter if I got mine.
That's the Randian Influence, right there.
Selfishness, maximalised, is all that matters.
This is why I abandoned the Libertarian Party, some 20 years ago.
We are none of us islands unto ourselves.
There are other people in the world, with their own wants and needs and prerogatives.
To deny this...especially a recipe for war and rapine, and the inevitable Blowbacks to these and other ills that we can't seem to escape.