Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Leaning On The Everlasting Arms - of Big Brother

Unless you've heard news of a cruise ship sinking in the Carribean, I'm still alive and well but on vacation. Our guest blogger today is Gar from Gar's Random Ramblings. For a good example of Gar's handiwork, check out his post on The Big 3 Bailout, which asks the question "Just why aren't we getting shares in these companies?"

Anyway, when I asked some of my favorite writers to contribute posts this week, the topic I threw out there for them was the difficulties of the Libertarian Party (or the difficulties of libertarianism in general) in this age of Disaster Socialism, Buddy Bailouts, and the like.

The Random Rambler took it all the way back to root causes. Here's what Gar sent me:

Libertarianism, in it's current incarnation will never be a party of choice. In a democracy the majority elects the officials. The majority of people expect government to take care of them. Poor people believe that personal freedom is more important than financial freedom. They will vote for Democrat. Rich people believe that financial freedom is more important than personal freedom. They will vote Republican. That leaves Libertarians with the votes from the intelligent folks that want both financial and personal freedom. Do you remember when you took your SAT's how you ranked on the national scale? Perhaps you were in the top 5%? Perhaps only in the top 10%. That still leaves a large portion of the population not intelligent enough to play this "freedom" game. Perhaps these people need the government to help them out either financially or personally.

The idea of Libertarianism is too scary for most people. If government doesn't have power then who will control the big corporations from jacking up gas prices and price fixing? The CEO's of these companies already have their lifestyles mapped out. They don't care if a loaf of bread costs $10. It's a drop in the bucket. If you open up the doors of financial freedoms where does it stop? How does the "majority" of people who don't have millions maintain the power to keep the billionaires from running the country without government controlling some of their finances? It's a scary proposition for the majority of people.

But, it's also engrained in the majority to not accept Libertarianism. From an earlier post: "Libertarianism holds that agents are, at least initially, full self-owners. Agents are (moral) full self-owners in that they morally own themselves in just the same way that they can morally fully own inanimate objects." Christianity does not believe this. Life is a test to see whether or not you live forever in happiness or live forever in a burning pit of hell. No one asked you if you wanted to take the test. That fundamental flaw in our upbringing prevents people from accepting the idea of Libertarianism. From before you were born a higher power has been making the decisions for you.



Robert Arvanitis said...

The intellectual appeal of libertarianism must not distract us for asking if its premises are fulfilled.

"IF there are many agents, AND they are independent, AND they are all free to make their own choices, AND...THEN...laissez faire capitalism is best."

But that only obtains rarely. The more usual case is for humans to join factions, parties, gangs. Primatologists see this, literally, in chimpanzee politics. And it persists for modern humans.

So in reality, a chimp must decide whether to back "Greybeard" or "Scar," deciding on who will give out more colubus meat on the next humt. And humans must decide on whether "corporate" or "labor" or "guild" will serve them best.

Such is life.

Dr Ralph said...

Gar: I agree the Libertarians may never be the party of choice. Part of it is for the reasons you list, the other is that actually governing would require dealing with some practical realities on a day-to-day basis that I'm not sure people have considered.

Be that as it may, while I don't agree with a lot of the LP's stands, I think they are dead on with a number of social issues.

The Libertarian Party, as a source of ideas, has influence far beyond their numbers, and is an intriguing voice in political landscape. More power to you!

Gar said...

I like the Chimp analogy. So as the value of the dollar continues to degrade, we'll eventually switch to the job that hands out the most meat.

"LP's stands" might be an oxymoron. The idea of Libertarianism is at odds with a stance on anything unless that stance is to limit a governing entity.

I posted a while back on keeping it simple. If you are hurting someone (other than yourself), it should be illegal. I erased my smoking ban example after yesterday's shenanigans.

When you get into free market, I start to differ with a lot of the hard line Libertarians.

Dr Ralph said...

Gar - having read some of your previous posts, I suspect we may be closer on a lot of issues than some of yesterday's participants. Like you, I don't have quite as much faith in the free market as our mutual friend, the Whited Sepulchre. Social issues are where I think the LP has the moral high ground.

As to my own part in yesterday's circus, the True Believers probably had much more fun with me tweaking them than they would have if I'd just gone Christmas shopping.

As I tell my kids, if I didn't care, I wouldn't bother to say anything.

fembuttx said...
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Gar said...

Well, Ralph, I do have Democratic leanings. I may be one of the few Democratic leaning Libertarians.

X, I think Libertarians support your dildo distribution idea more than most political parties.
Republicans would try to make your dildo obsession illegal because it is morally reprehensible and you might hurt yourself.
Democrats would artificially increase the prices of your dildos because they would have to make sure that the homeless people could have their dildos too.
Libertarians would leave it up to the free market and keep the government completely out of the dildo business.
Of course, with a free market, Microsoft might buy up all the dildo manufacturers and put the whole industry out of business because Bill Gates is tired of his wife not putting out because of her dildo obsession.

fembuttx said...
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AssX said...
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fembuttx said...
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Browncoat Libertarian said...

Ah, but libertarians do NOT support monopolies, so the Microsoft Geyser(tm) scenario doesn't play.

FemButt - you must be a Dem given your insistence that someone else provide you with your toys.


fembuttx said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gar said...

Mr Browncoat. I agree, however, in talking to the public, they don't hear the details. All they hear is "free market" and they run.

Fembutt is starting to not only sound Democrat, but also like a huge Bill Clinton fan. Dildo's and smokes. Go figure.

Browncoat Libertarian said...

Oh, and Gar, nice blog entry...I never thought about the "God" issue being a hindrance to libertarianism...makes sense.

fembuttx said...

You got me there Gar...Democratic through and through....I worked on the Clinton Campaign, both times...Cigars for everybody!!

Gar said...

Thanks Mr. Browncoat. I read your post yesterday as well and enjoyed it. I'm leery of jumping into frays on touchy subjects (like smoking bans).

Who is "a blog administrator"? Is that a Google employee or a Sepulchre employee?

I liked Clinton too.

fembuttx said...

The admin is the person who is SUPPOSED to be on a cruise...Not governing whether or not Dildos are mentioned on his blog....

Anonymous said...

But Mr. Whited has left it in safe hands.
Let's do this democratically.

Everyone in favor of Fem,Boob,& Buttx please state if you would be willing to email Rangeaire and Marco to that effect.

Everyone opposed, please state if you would be willing to do the same.

Votes will be tallied at the end of the week.

Francis Shivone said...

1. It's a convenient modern notion that knowledge equals virtue. Socrates/Plato may have supported this but not to the post-Enlightenment degree. I challenge you to prove to me that smarter people are morally superior to less-than-smart people. I think I can prove them both morally depraved. Or even incapable of pursuing only an "enlightened self interest."

2. "Christianity does not believe this. Life is a test to see whether or not you live forever in happiness or live forever in a burning pit of hell."

I'm not sure who is misrepresented more, Plato, Descartes or "Christianity." That statement is certainly not a part of Christian dogma.

Gar said...

Wow Francis. Do you work for the media? I've never seen so much information twisted and taken out of context before. Congratulations.

Francis Shivone said...

Thank you.

Flu-Bird said...

Liberal think that the goverment can take care of us from cradel to grave and protect the world becuase liberals are such idiots

Anonymous said...

I never understand the simplistic views of Libertarians. As a person who values his personal freedom, its the Democrats and liberals who have constrained my personal freedom. They tell me what and where I can smoke. They tell me what I can eat and drink. They tell me who I must associate with. They tell me what I can say. They limit my access to other opinions and information. They tell me what I can wear. They tell me what I can drive. They tell me how to utilize my property.

Yeah, let me get all upset because Republicans do not support gay marriage. Please!!!

Browncoat Libertarian said...

Anon - I'm not sure why you are lumping libertarians in with that rant, we are the one party who will NOT tell you when and where to smoke, eat, screw, etc.

I think you may be yet another who confuses the word "liberal" with the "liberty" in libertarian.