Thursday, January 08, 2009

Really Quick: On Libertarianism

So two people who I think are absolutely brilliant have some blog posts up taking down Libertarianism. Zed nails them to the cross of crap economic theory, and Giles takes notice that it's a real natural disaster to have people who don't believe in government at all running (gutting) the government.

I think these fellas are a little off. I've always found Warren Ellis' oft-cited definition of Libertarians to be quite illustrative, to wit, "people who think roads and schools and sewer systems just happen on their own." However, I am not about to blame our sinking economy, and the lurching, cancer-ridden body of our government squarely on libertarian theory of government, or even conservatism in the real meaning of the term (if it carries such a meaning anymore).

We need to give credit where credit is due, fellas. I realize that it appears to be The Conservative Machine that has been in control of our government since... 1980? But it's not really conservative, and even conservatives know that. It's perhaps enabled by playing to conservative notions, but there's nothing conservative or even libertarian about the way these guys operate, and I think it's important to see that when deciding, "okay what the fuck do we do now to clean up this mess."

The Economy

This is not libertarian or even conservative market principals at work destroying our economy right now, or even a real Free Market, with Zed's strong rule of law, applied consistently. It's a boy's club, and they set their club house on fire, and unfortunately we live in that house, actually it's our house and we live with psychopaths and we never ever seem to get the good sense together to kick them out. Our economic laws are not strong, and they're not applied consistently; the people with their hand in the till are the people who are supposedly going to do the regulating, and that's not how you achieve law enforcement, even from a conservative or libertarian perspective. This is greed and gamesmanship, it's not government, or libertarianism.

The Government

Now this you can blame on the conservatives, sorta. And it's not truly Libertarian ideas they've pursued here. Bush 44 is the most hated of recent presidents by all "real" conservatives because he isn't one. It's just a game where they push money to their friends (who are themselves as charlie-brown-inept at doing anything as Bush) and away from any projects and ideals that they sneer at ideologically because they think it doesn't really matter. That's not thoughtfully cutting down the size of the government to avoid largesse, a la conservativism or libertarianism. That's just straight up political knife fighting, done dirtier than ever before. It has nothing to do with real concern for conservative or libertarian principles.

So, while I'm not about to become a member of the John Birch society, I would submit that you can't blame this mess squarely on them, oh no. There are real criminals here, and they are anything but conservatives.

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