Monday, December 16, 2013

The Libertarian Blindness to Sovereignty

Libertarians, especially of the Anarchist bent, tend to view public property as imaginary.  What I mean by this is that they tend to see government-managed lands in the abstract rather than in the practical.

I personally do not believe that there is a such thing as public property, but government property.  The leaders in the government tend to call it public property because it sounds more appealing to the dumb masses.  In truth, they own it and they’ll be damned if they are going to give it up.

I get annoyed by anarcho-capitalists when they refer to a country’s borders as “imaginary” as well. I’m sorry, are your own property lines imaginary?  Sovereignty, like it or not, is a practical reality that cannot be denied.

I understand that the government does a piss poor job of handling the property that the dumb masses entrust to it.  In some cases, they simply took too much of it and presume to manage it when they lack the resources, manpower, and political will to do so properly.

But collective sovereignty is a real thing, like it or not.  I do agree that the individual is sovereign, but at the same time, society creates constructs to handle the affairs that they believe to be outside of the sovereign individual.  Things have gotten out of hand lately, but the idea isn’t necessarily a bad one.

And this also illustrates the blindness that libertarians possess when it comes to promoting decentralization.  Activists should focus instead on the government’s own ineptness in managing public properties, highlight the hypocrisies inherent, and provide an alternative solution.  At a national level, this may seem like a daunting task, but there are other options.

While the Federal government continues to expand its powers, the local and state governments still maintain some level of autonomy.  And while the Federal government has generally done a poor job of handling Federal lands, largely due to corporatists interests overriding the will of the locals, local and state governments remain the best option.

So go the local and state leaders and hold their feet to the fire.  Demand to know why property taxes are so high when the schools are failing and the roads are cracked and broken.  Ask why the police focus more on non-violent crimes while letting violent offenses go.  Demand to know why the police insist on getting SWAT teams, assault weapons, and tanks added to their departments.

And then offer alternatives.  If you are not and/or cannot be wealthy, trying getting local rich people to invest in private ventures like roads and affordable schools.  You’d be surprised how well politicians will listen to you when money is involved.

In this way, you can bring about better conditions suited for liberty and change the culture without having to look like a complete fool with a stupid sign.